It can be shocking to see a hydrangea transform from a champion flowerer into a bundle of hydrangea sticks. What course of action should you take when your specimen hydrangea (Hydrangea spp.) makes that depressing turn? Is it better to remove the old stalks now or wait until spring? Or do you entirely chop it down to the ground?
What if your hydrangea has genuinely passed away rather than just gone dormant? Your plant is most likely only dormant if you garden in the USDA hardiness zones 3 to 9, which are the zones where hydrangeas flourish. However, some kinds are not as cold hardy. Sadly, you might be seeing the last of this hydrangea.
Hydrangeas are deciduous shrubs that lose their leaves in the winter and go dormant. A hydrangea shrub has several, naked stalks of varied heights over the winter months unless you have cut it back before the cold weather sets in; it does not completely die to the ground.
How can a dead hydrangea be revived?
Greek words “hydor,” which means “water,” and “angos,” which means jar or vessel, combine to form the term “hydrangea.” Translation: a barrel of water! These lovely flowers that resemble pom poms require water to survive, and if they don’t get it, they wilt.
The woody stem of hydrangeas can make it challenging for the flower to obtain the water it requires. A small slice cut into the stem and an angled trim with a sharp knife help the plant absorb more water.
I used to use scissors to trim the ends of my flowers, but I’ve since moved to using a sharp knife on the advice of my friends at Byland’s. Apparently, using scissors causes the stems to be pinched, harming them and limiting their ability to absorb water.
While they were beautiful to look at when we originally built the floral arrangement for our Mother’s Day Frache Table, it didn’t take long for them to start to look very melancholy. I was able to keep them from being thrown away thanks to this simple approach, and the flowers still looked new and fresh!
Keep in mind that hydrangeas might wilt to a certain extent after which they cannot recover. The good news is that this hack is really easy to use and doesn’t call for anything complicated, so why not give it a shot?
- A kettle or pot of water should be heated up and then left to cool gradually. It ought to be really hot right now. Fill the vase with water.
- Cut the ends of the hydrangeas at a 45-degree angle with the sharp knife after setting them on the cutting board. Then, on the newly trimmed stem, make a tiny vertical slit running up the middle.
Should dead hydrangeas be trimmed off?
Your hydrangea shrubs’ blossoms appear to be withering or turning brown. No need to worry—this is merely a signal that it’s time to deadhead—remove the blossoms from the plant.
Deadheading hydrangeas doesn’t cause any damage to the plants at all. Flowering shrubs stop producing seeds when the spent blooms are removed, and instead focus their efforts on developing their roots and leaves. You will be doing your hydrangeas a favor by deadheading because this strengthens and makes plants healthier.
Will my hydrangea grow again?
Healthy hydrangea plants typically resist pests and illnesses, but those that are already under stress from bad weather or unfavorable soil may be beyond saving if they are attacked by insects or fungi. A plant that appears to be hibernating for the winter may instead be giving its final breath.
The University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program recommends keeping an eye out for common pests like aphids, scale, and mites on your hydrangea plants. Spray hydrangeas with a powerful water jet to drive off pests. reducing the use of needless pesticides to promote beneficial insects like parasitic wasps that consume scale and aphids. Maintaining hydrangeas’ moisture levels will aid in protecting them from tiny mite and scale infestations, which target drought-stressed plants.
According to the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, be on the lookout for diseases like the armillaria root rot that develops in soil with poor drainage and anthracnose fungus in hot, humid conditions. To control the illness, remove all dead and decomposing plant matter from hydrangeas. To prevent root rot, amend heavy soils with organic ingredients like compost or grow hydrangeas in raised beds.
My hydrangeas are dead; why?
Healthy growth of hydrangeas may be retarded or even killed by drought, frost damage, excessive sun exposure, or transplant shock.
A dead Hydrangea cannot be revived, however a dying plant might be able to be saved.
Drooping Hydrangea leaves, withered blooms, and browning foliage could be signs of extreme dryness.
While excessive heat may cause Hydrangea leaves to droop, there are other key factors, such as
- inadequate irrigation
- too quickly the soil is drained
- excessive nitrogen
- soil is too dense, failing to hold moisture
In naturally damp soil, hydrangea flourishes. For its feeder roots to flourish, the shallow root system needs moist soil.
Dry potting soil may hinder the roots’ ability to grow, which will result in drooping leaves.
When the soil is very dehydrated, plant leaves and blossoms may droop or produce few flowers.
- Once a week, generously water your plant and let the extra water to drain.
- Pick a potting mix that includes organic material that helps plants retain moisture, including compost and leaf mulch.
- Avoid using soil that dries out quickly and drains quickly.
- Reduce fertilizing with balanced plant food diluted to half strength as hydrangeas are not heavy feeders.
- The majority of hydrangea species thrive in partial shade, such as that found under a tree.
Yellow and Dried Foliage
Overexposure to sunlight may be indicated by yellowing leaves that feel dry and appear wilted.
A plant that has yellowed leaves on one side and natural green leaves on the other is likely receiving too much sunlight.
The plant’s leaves can become scorched if you place it in a bright area with more than six hours of direct sunshine.
You might see wilting flowers in addition to the yellowing and dry leaves. In extreme circumstances, an overheated plant may perish.
- Transfer them from a bright place to a shady spot that avoids direct sunlight.
- Place them in the east or west-facing window for some morning or midday light.
- To encourage new development, prune the shoots with badly damaged leaves and blooms.
The plant that has been damaged by frost may produce flowers and leaves that are brown or black.
Frost Damage is more common in USDA Zones 8 and higher. The best places to plant hydrangeas are near windows, patios, and gardens.
They are more vulnerable to harm from early and late spring and fall frosts.
Frost damage, a frequent adversary of indoor plants, particularly impacts spring growth and may prevent flower buds from forming.
- With a pruning shear, begin by removing seriously damaged growths; do not, however, cut into wood that would completely inhibit future growth.
- Do not fertilize in the late summer.
- The sensitive, young growth is more vulnerable to damage from frost.
- When the temperature falls below 40°F, think about putting Hydrangea species of USDS Zone 8 or higher inside.
- It shouldn’t be a problem because cold-tolerant animals can endure temperatures as low as -20F.
When hydrangea plants are improperly transferred into dissimilar growing circumstances, they begin to droop or become brown.
It frequently occurs when plants are mistakenly moved from a small to a larger pot or when they are transplanted from a garden center to a home garden.
Moving a transplanted hydrangea to a place with high temperatures or intense illumination may cause transplant shock. Other factors to consider include changes in temperature and lighting.
Moving these temperature- and light-sensitive plants from one habitat to another can have a negative impact on them.
- Keep Hydrangea transplants to the spring or fall to give the plant’s roots time to settle in and adjust to the soil.
- In order to prevent plant shock, avoid moving your plant right after transplanting.
- When transplanting, slide the plant root gently in and out to avoid upsetting the root system.
- For the feeder roots to acclimate to the soil, keep the soil moist. Till your plant has fully recovered from transplant shock, avoid fertilizing or pruning it.
How to Revive a Newly Planted Hydrangea?
Transplant shock may also affect newly acquired plants or plants that are being planted for the first time in pots.
Using these techniques, you can recover a recently planted Hydrangea from transplant shock.
- Only plant your hydrangea in the spring and fall to give the roots time to gradually acclimate to the new soil.
- While growing in the winter exposes plants to shock, planting in the summer can quickly dry up plant roots, producing early losses.
- Apply an inch-thick layer of organic mulch (compose or leaf mold) after planting to retain moisture.
- By sheltering the plant and regularly watering it, you may shield them from the sun’s rays and drought conditions.
Root Rot Conditions
The plant like damp soil, but it detests resting in water since it makes it difficult for the roots to store nutrients.
Root rot issues can frequently be exacerbated by soil that drains slowly, such as heavy clay, and by the absence of drainage holes.
The water will drain too slowly when the soil is dense and soggy, leaving the hydrangeas with saturated soil.
- It is best to destroy plants that have severe root rot since they cannot be saved.
- To inspect the plant’s roots for damage, think about taking it out. Use a clean pair of pruning shears to prune the diseased areas.
- Remove roots that are dark in color, mushy, or soft.
- Before repotting the plant in new soil, think about replacing the current soil with an organically enriched soil mix and dipping the plant in fungicide.
- Using the same container calls for cleaning the pot with fungicide.
- Pick terracotta or clay containers with several drainage holes.
Root Burn from Excess Fertilizing
Root burns can be brought on by overfertilization or the use of fertilizers with high concentrations.
Browning or drooping leaves with a few dead foliages are possible symptoms of mild root burn. Comparatively, severe root burn might cause the plant to fully wilt before it dies.
Unlike other houseplants, hydrangeas do not require frequent feeding. Instead, they choose absorbing nutrients from the soil’s bacteria and organic mulch.
- Before planting the plant, compost the soil and cover it with leaf mold to allow it to rot.
- The soil and decaying leaves will naturally provide the plant with nutrition.
- Only fertilize the plant if it is in a pot with sandy soil that is deficient in nutrients or if the soil has used up all of the organic mulch.
- For an early-season boost, only fertilize once in early spring.
- Use all-purpose fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in an equal amount (10-10-10) but dilute it with water to reduce the strength to half.
What is causing my hydrangeas to brown?
Nothing ages hydrangeas more quickly than browning blooms, and if you’re starting to see more and more brown blossoms, experienced gardener Melinda Myers advises that you might be doing something incorrectly. Premature brown blossoms are an indication that you should change the way you take care of your plants, she explains. “Plants start to wilt and the flowers turn brown earlier than they should when they are under stress or have been damaged.”
In addition, Myers notes that while some hydrangea blossoms naturally turn brown with time, if newly planted ones begin to lose their color, there’s a risk they’re not getting enough moisture. “Drought stress, excessive fertilizing, or high aluminum sulfate in the soil might cause blooms to turn brown earlier than normal,” the author says. So what should you do if you find a garden full of hydrangea blooms that are starting to brown? When we asked Myers for her opinion, she responded as follows.
What should you do if hydrangea blooms start to deteriorate?
The beauty of hydrangeas is expected to last a lifetime! The garden’s most perfect, essential blossoms! However, you can see dark stains on the leaves of your hydrangea. Or even worse, the blossoms are fading to brown!
If you stay with us, we’ll have your garden favorite looking fantastic once more. Here’s a quick cure for those typical hydrangea issues.
Simple Steps to Stunning Blooms (Again)
How to Address Typical Hydrangea Issues
Not a Spot! Hydrangea leaves get unattractive, black stains when it rains unusually much (or if you overwater them). This Cercospora leaf fungus is relatively innocuous despite its frightening name. Remove badly impacted foliage and leaves with spots to stop the fungus from spreading.
Will to Wilt 2. Are the hydrangea blossoms withering or drooping? Your plant is most likely receiving insufficient water and too much light. Verify that the soil is moist one to two feet down. If not, deeply spritz. Repeat weekly for optimum hydrangea care. Mulch can also help you save water, so add some. If that isn’t the case, perform a soil test to determine the nitrogen levels in your soil. Make the necessary changes.
Three. Brown Blooms Your hydrangea blooms may need extra water if they are prematurely turning brown and fading away. The same applies if your flowers start to wilt during the day and don’t recover at night. Look for brown stains on the leaf edges to confirm. Once a week, deeply water hydrangeas to mend.
4. Holy Grail Foliage. Hydrangea leaves have holes chewed through by fruit bugs and slugs. Open a holey leaf. A fruit worm is what you should locate if it resembles a caterpillar. Utilize soapy water to get rid of them. Slugs are probably responsible if nothing is found. They can be hand-selected at night or given a nightcap. Bury a plastic cup so that the rim is level with the ground next to the hydrangea. Then pour half a beer into the cup.
Blooms Be Gone, No. 5. Your hydrangea is barren of blossoms. You probably pruned your hydrangea at the incorrect time, removing all of its fresh blossoms. Instead of trimming hydrangeas this year, read our hydrangea pruning recommendations to ensure that you never prune them at the incorrect time again.
Purple Pout, 6. Remove the leaves and branches that have the purple stains from your leaves. You may not have enough phosphorus in your soil if the entire leaf is purple. Test your soil, and adjust as necessary.
Abracadabra! Your hydrangea issues will shortly be resolved. Then, you can concentrate on all the wonderful aspects of cultivating hydrangeas, such as enjoying their enormous, fluffy blossoms.